The Environmental Impact of Water Reservoirs

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[A water reservoir is a human-made lake that is created when a river is dammed to serve one or more purposes, such as to generate hydropower production, provide a water supply for drinking, irrigation, and flood protection] ( The effects of water reservoirs on the environment have stirred controversy since their introduction. Though water reservoirs can create many sought out improvements for a society it can detrimentally impact natural habitats and spawn a number of environmental complications. The debate on whether water reservoirs are truly beneficial or harmful towards human populations is ongoing as new projects like the Three Gorges in China are concluded. In the following essay I will be giving a critical review on the various negatives that arise from the creation of a water reservoir. The creation of a water reservoir will have a significant impact on the natural habitats that existed prior to its building. The surroundings around the damn will be inundated and reclaimed as part of the newly created water reservoir. The runoff of the initial filling of the reservoir will cause the existing plant life to die and decompose. For the first years stabilization will take place where the rotting plant life releases an abundance of carbon back into the atmosphere. Further on, the decomposing of plant material that settles at the bottom of the reservoir will produce and release large amounts of methane. A weakness to the argument that a water reservoir is green-friendly. Not only does local plant life and animal life suffer from this loss of land, the river itself is affected through vaporization. A water reservoir creates a greater surface area by which more water is evaporated and depleted from the ... ... middle of paper ... produce a pollution factor comparable to that of an oil driven power plant. Works Cited (Flood-recession cropping)
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